'Swamp People' star died of natural causes

May 17, 2012 at 3:57 PM ET

Preston Chaplin / History Channel /

Mitchell Guist, the star of History Channel's "Swamp People," died of natural causes, Sheriff Jeff Wiley of Ascension Parish in Louisiana said Thursday, citing the preliminary autopsy findings. The final report will not be available for another four or five weeks.

The reality star reportedly collapsed after launching a houseboat he was working on Monday morning. "He had just put it in the water ... and was pushing it. That's when he went down," his brother Glenn, who also appears on the show, told Baton Rouge's The Advocate. "I don't know if it was a seizure or a heart attack."

According to The Advocate, the 47-year-old was transported to a hospital via ambulance, where he was declared dead on arrival.

A family friend told The Advocate that Guist will be buried on Saturday, and that fans are welcome at the services.

The popular reality show follows the lives of the residents of the Atchafalaya Swamp in Louisiana who hunt alligators as they carry on the traditions of their ancestors. Watch a clip of the Guist brothers preparing their family's gumbo recipe:

"Swamp People" airs at 9 p.m. Thursdays, on the History Channel.

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